MTO Announces Proposed Enhancements to Roadside Enforcement and Truck Driver Training

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Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Prabmeet Sarkaria introduced The Safer Roads and Communities Act today – a bill that provides additional powers to MTO enforcement officers and initiates a comprehensive review of commercial driver training.

“This bill is paving the way by ensuring that enforcement officers have all the necessary powers to keep our roads safe and that our province has the best qualified commercial drivers operating to meet the growing demands of the Ontario supply chain,” said Stephen Laskowski, President of the Ontario Trucking Association. “We applaud the government for these changes and for launching industry discussions to identify gaps and meaningful improvements to keep Ontario’s roads safe for everyone.”

Under Chair James Steed, OTA’s Board has emphasized the need to raise the bar for commercial driver training and licensing.

Last fall, OTA surveyed nearly 1,000 truck drivers and fleets in Ontario, the large majority of which highlighted this need for changes to infrastructure and driver training, mainly as it pertains to drivers and fleets operating in Northern Ontario.

“Our board agrees it is time to rethink how commercial driver training and licensing are addressed in Ontario,” said OTA Chair James Steed. “Licensing and training must reflect the safety and vocational standards required to operate a truck. OTA will be providing input that reflects this direction during MTO’s consultations. We need to advance training in the truck driving profession to ensure our sector is eligible for funding that is afforded to other key sectors of the economy when they are training and preparing their labour forces.” 

OTA wants to see the necessary changes for commercial driver training and oversight take place over the 2025 period.

Regarding the proposed changes for MTO truck enforcement, the Bill includes provisions for officers to exceed posted speed limits for enforcement purposes; requirements for traffic to yield to enforcement vehicles when lights and signals are flashing; and gives officers the ability to confiscate fraudulent or suspended drivers’ licences.

“We feel the proposals to provide officers more authority are necessary and are welcomed by OTA,” said Geoff Wood, OTA’s Senior VP. Policy.  “We will also be working with ministry officials to ensure that information sharing and joint operations between MTO and officials from the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development and other agencies can be enhanced at roadside as part of this Bill to further protect workers’ rights, ensure compliance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requirements, detect and root out any incidents of forced labour and ensure all trucking operations are in compliance with their employer health and fuel tax commitments.” 

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